“I’ll never forget a dream I had. I was getting into bed. I noticed that it was unmade with the blankets messed up like someone had been sleeping in it already. There was a loud rumble, an earthquake, and suddenly the ground in my bedroom opened up. The underground was red and glowing and this hideous figure—it was the devil himself—came out. He said, “You are mine.” Then, he grabbed me and dragged me down into hell. Ever since then, I knew that I was a bad person and that someday I am going to hell.” (S. L.)
In the realm of evil figures, there are demons of all kinds but nothing frightens unsuspecting dreamers like the devil himself. There are reports of dreams influenced by real life supernatural occurrences, and I definitely believe. Yet, most devil dreams have nothing to do with such happenings. The devil appears frequently in nightmares, not because he has nothing better to do than torment sleeping individuals, but because dreamers conjure up his image out of repressed guilt.
Sometimes, one’s waking life adversary can take on the form of the devil in a dream. It isn’t uncommon for someone battling an addiction to see himself fighting—and either overcoming or losing to—the devil.
Onto the dream symbols of this particular dream:
unmade bed. The bed, for an adult, is a place of intimacy and sexuality. That his was unmade (blankets exposed) points to the possibility of some of his private acts being revealed.
earthquake. When the ground underneath your feet shakes, your foundation is being rattled. This represents some unsettling in your waking life. It’s time to wake up and do an assessment of your recent behaviors and attitudes.
ground opened. The ground can symbolize the boundary between the conscious and subconscious mind. This dreamer’s subconscious mind was opening up to reveal something.
devil talking Ah, the devil. When he speaks to the dreamer, it is a way of evil “speaking” to you. What temptations are beckoning to you in your waking life?
drags him to hell. Hell is a place of hopelessness and punishment. Why does the dreamer believe he deserves to be in hell?
The Dream Interpretation
There is something going in this dreamer’s waking life that is making him feel unsettled, something that is rocking his foundational beliefs. There is the possibility of some hidden acts being exposed. At least, this dreamer fears this might happen. His own subconscious mind is warning him about it, but he is being severely tempted by wrong-doing. Alas, he believes he will succumb to sin and be punished in hell for his acts. This dreamer believes that the devil owns him and is the reason for all of his misdeeds.
When this man came to me with this dream, he seemed in genuine turmoil. This dream had disturbed him for years. He was husband, father and active member in his church. I felt his sincerity in wanting to know why the devil plagues him. “I know that I’m a bad person,” he confided. “That is why I do bad things. He makes me do them.”
Because our conversation was not a counseling session or a confessional, I didn’t ask what bad things he had done. But I encouraged him to accept that this dream was about his guilt and not about the devil. In fact, I reminded him that, as a church-going man, he should understand that the devil cannot own him. His weaknesses and temptations serve to strengthen his will and character, not to condemn him.
In a way, this dreamer was using the devil as a scapegoat for his actions. But if he truly believed that the devil was his evil captor, who did he believe he could he turn to for rescue and salvation? Now was the time to make things right and build a firm, unshakable foundation in truth: He, like all of us, has a special spark of God-consciousness that leads us to a life of peace, joy, love, abundance and hope.
It later came out that he was having an affair with an underaged girl. He lost his marriage and family. I lost track of him but his dreams will follow him wherever he sleeps, serving to help, to warn, to guide.